Home Andrew Benjamin Christopher Layla Photos Interests



Some interests and hobbies, links to family activities, web sites for schools I attended, gaming, and local restaurants.

fencing / hobbies / schools / leisure / restaurants


I started fencing at Lakeside High School and competed on the Harvard varsity team in college. I am a volunteer,
certified coach at Metro Tacoma Fencing Club, and continue to compete with ratings in epee and foil. I am currently
ranked nationally for my age group. I was excited to earn my A2018 rating (somewhat like earning a black belt) at
the Seattle International Veteran (fencers ages 40 years old and older) epee event. Additionally, for the
2017-2018 season I was ranked 3rd in the country in men's epee for my age group (40-49 years old).
I have a separate website describing my fencing experience found at that I created August 2011.


    My interest in photography started when I was 8 years old with my first 110 cartridge camera. In high school
    I took photography classes which I loved. I later joined the high school yearbook and was photography editor
    my senior year. Now it is mostly pictures of my sons Andrew, Benjamin, and Christopher. I started shooting 
    with a 35 mm Nikon F3 camera then upgraded to an F100 for fast autofocus to to get pictures of my sons. 
    The Fuji Finepix S2 Pro digital SLR gave me fabulous pictures at 8 x 10 inches but did not have a fast enough 
    burst frame rate to keep up with the kids. I used the Nikon D2x for about eight years before upgrading to a 
    Nikon D4. It is  fast and has amazing pictures. Resolution is equivalent to 35 mm film. Since moving to 
    digital photography my pictures have certainly improved. The digital format is also wonderful for instant 
    In April of 2005 I had the opportunity to display some pictures at the Starbucks Coffee Shop in Washington
    Square, Brookline, MA. The prints I displayed are linked here.
    I won first prize in the Proctor Arts Fest 2007 for my piece titled "Castle Geyser" in the photography section.
    The picture is displayed in my link under Photo.

    Typography and Design
    I have enjoyed typography, layout, and design since high school with my involvement in the yearbook. 
    I was also involved with designing the layout and style of a publication called Lighthouse Magazine 
    during college which was a lot of fun. A sample of my design work is available. In medical school I
    edited and designed The Kit which served as a student to student guide for first year students as
    vice-president of the student council. A brief  attempt at a small business called fi design studios was a
    great experience and gave me a reason to design brochures, information packets, and other
    business-oriented products though this endeavor was not at all profitable. I enjoy reading magazines,
    books, and other printed materials looking at both content and style. The best graphics and design 
    products have been by Adobe Systems, and I continue to enjoy using their excellent products.

    Web Design
    This has been a fun web site to develop. Some of the details about the history of this web page are noted
    at the bottom of the initial
    home page. For me it allows me always to have access to my favorite links.
    Andrew's Page was what started it all; I wanted to
    share Andrew's pictures with family and friends. Benjamin
    has continued my interest in maintaining an updated web site as I want to share his pictures, too.
    Benjamin's Page is one of my favorite links. I will be busy updating Christopher's Page as he grows.

    I was very excited when I learned how to register a domain name at Network Solutions. An alternative site
    which I hear will often send the registration information to Network Solutions but which provides additional
    information for sites already taken is

    This home page was initially designed with Adobe PageMill 3.0, Adobe Photoshop 5.0LE, Microsoft Internet
    Explorer 5.0, and Adobe
    Illustrator 8.0.1 on a Dell Dimension Pentium III running Windows 98 SE. The handouts
    in PDF format were designed in Adobe
    PageMaker 6.5. Most recently I switched to Microsoft FrontPage 2000 for
    my web layout and have a slightly newer computer.

    My Schools 

    Lakeside High School
    Graduated in 1990. Loved the experience. Still have many friends I keep in touch with from high school. Both
    the original
    Batman and Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside. Robert Fulgum, author of Everything I Needed
    to Learn I Learned in Kindergarten
    was an art teacher at my school and retired from teaching after
    he got his New York Times bestseller.

    Harvard College
    Graduated in 1994. Lived in Cabot House. Met my wife there. Studied biology. Involved with Lighthouse
    Harvard Computer Review editor, varsity fencing in epee, and intramural rowing.
    Wonderful friends
    and wonderful education.

    Yale School of Medicine
    Graduated in 1998. A school with wonderful people. New Haven has the best pizza I have ever tasted. It is
    thin crust and very
    yummy. Go to Pepe's Pizza or The Spot (owned by the same family) for superb pizza.
    The white clam pizza is a favorite.


    The best series I have read in my adult life is the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Love and vampires cannot
    be beat. Harry Potter by JK Rowling is a fun series and great to read to the kids. The Hunger Games by Suzanne
    Collins is right up there as a good guide for survival. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the rest of the Millenium
    series by the late Steig Larsoon was something I could not put down. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand made 
    a big impact on me. I enjoyed reading President Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. Alan Greenspan's 
    memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World was also terrific. How to Raise an Adult by Julie
    Lythcott-Haims was a sad but true description of modern parenting that I try to avoid.

    I played chess in high school with a peak rating of approximately 1750. To give away my secrets, I like 
    the Reti, the English, and the Sicilian Dragon openings.
    As a resident, when I had time I enjoyed the Excite 
    game rooms
    for a quick game of chess. The kids learned chess in November 2007 and for a while we played 
    nearly every day. During one of the kids' chess tournaments they allowed adults to sign up to fill-out the high 
    school unrated division and I won the section (beating two chess coaches, a dad, and two high school kids). 
    My peak rating is 2007 (expert) with a current rating of 1858.

    National Public Radio
    My wife and I support National Public Radio. We listened to WBUR in Boston. We enjoy KUOW in Tacoma.
    We particularly enjoy the stories on
    This American Life. I like Marketplace.

    Music and Audio Books
    Though my musical tastes span many decades, I find it hard to keep up with the latest music. I have really 
    enjoyed Sirius satellite radio and hope the company stays solvent...particularly since I have a lifetime 
    subscription. The last concert I went to was Alison Krauss and before that Taylor Swift! 

    Computer Gaming
    I enjoy Halflife2 and its mods, specifically CounterStrike which is an multiplayer, on-line, first person 
    shooter. There are two teams--terrorists and counter-terrorists--who battle it out and try to achieve certain 
    objectives. This game is certainly not very relaxing but a lot of fun. My best record is 130 out of a total of 
    16,000 players ranked.
    My wife and I played Diablo II Expansion Pack. This series is a dungeon crawler, third person, action
    role playing game. We finished the original Diablo together. I was using an advanced Necromancer, 
    and she was using an advanced Sorceress. My boys and I worked our way through the world of Diablo III 
    together. Though an old game, it is still very fun.
    Recently, we have been playing Starcraft II across time zones. This game is a real time strategy game.

    Favorite Restaurants 


     Cooke's Seafood MA 508-775-0450  Delicious lobster rolls.
     Din Tai Fung WA multiple  The dumplings are delicious.
     Fugakyu MA 617-734-1268  Try the omakase.
     Mike's Pastry MA 617-742-3050  Best pastries in the world. 
     Pepe's Pizza CT 203-865-5762  White clam pizza.
     Yea's Wok WA 425-644-5546  Chinese menu and usual order

    Dream menu

     Appetizer  Lobster Shop  Crab Cakes
     Soup  Ivar's  Clam chowder
     Burgers  Five Guys  All the way plus extras
     Fries  Old Hickory  Garlic truffle fries
     Mexican fast food  Taco Time  Crisp beef burrito
     Pizza   Pepe's Pizza  White clam pizza 
     Lobster roll   Cooke's Seafood  Lobster roll
     Chef's choice   Fugakyu  Omakase
     Dumplings  Din Tai Fung  Pork dumplings
     Dessert  Mike's Pastry  Anything is yummy


    This page was last updated on 9 november 2018.

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